Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

God bless Tucker Carlson for calling out Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, for saying that he knew that Russians hacked into John Podesta’s email account. During the debate, which lasted a little less than 9 minutes, Tucker asked Schiff about a letter Democrats sent to President Obama.

The letter they sent urgently requested his administration look into whether Russians hacked into Democrats’ email accounts. This is a political stunt because they know the intelligence community can’t complete that type of investigation in a month.

During the interview, Schiff repeatedly said that Russians hacked into Mr. Podesta’s email account. When pressed how he knew that, Schiff said that it was the opinion of intelligence agencies that Russians had hacked Podesta’s emails. That isn’t the same as saying Schiff had verifiable proof that Russians had hacked Podesta’s email account. Without proof, it’s just an opinion.

At another point in the debate, Carlson asked Schiff why the letter didn’t criticize the Obama administration for their lax cyber-security. Schiff said that he’d made some opening statements at committee hearings, as though that’s going to get the public’s attention. That’s a CYA move. If Schiff were truly distraught over Russians hacking into government email accounts, he should have held a press conference on the subject. Either that or he could’ve gone on national TV and made that announcement. The fact that he didn’t indicates that this is just another scam by Democrats. Here’s the video. Judge for yourself whether Schiff is a weasel:

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A loyal reader of LFR has sent me some hilarious fundraising emails from the Franken campaign. Here’s Sen. Franken’s latest fundraising appeal:

Can you hear that ominous buzzing sound? That’s Washington Republicans, planning their next attempt to hold our economic recovery hostage by playing political games with the debt ceiling.

In case you don’t remember the last manufactured crisis, Republicans threatened to refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless we agreed to their demands, meaning we could have defaulted on our national debt for the first time ever — causing a terrible economic crisis.

It was irresponsible. It was reckless. And now many seem willing to do it again.

Don’t let them. Click here to help me tell Republicans in Washington not to play games with the debt ceiling and threaten our economic recovery.

We don’t know what demands Republicans will come up with this time. And we only have one demand of our own: Do your job.

After all, Minnesotans are doing their part to bring our economy back from the recession. They’re working hard every day, opening small businesses, doing the things the middle class has always done to make our country stronger.

Now Washington has a job to do: make sure the full faith and credit of the United States remains strong. And refusing to do that job — playing political games with the debt ceiling — is downright dangerous.

We need to send a clear message to Washington Republicans: Don’t play games with the debt ceiling. Click here to sign my open letter.

Right now, Republicans in Washington are debating exactly which demands they want to make before they agree to do their job. And the buzz about another manufactured crisis is getting louder. That’s bad news for our economy.

So let’s drown out that buzz with a clear message of our own: Don’t play games. Do your job.

Click here to add your name!

Thanks for your help,


P.S.: Defaulting on our debt may sound like a boring bookkeeping term, but it would be an enormous economic disaster, one that economists say would cost us jobs and could put us into another recession. Don’t let Washington Republicans play games with this — it’s too important. Click here to sign my open letter!

This afternoon, the House passed a clean debt ceiling bill. Only 28 Republicans voted for it, including soon-to-be-former Speaker Boehner. It’s worth paying attention to the fact that Sen. Franken insists that the floundering economy is coming back.

That’s stunning because President Obama delayed the employer mandate a second time because he’s seen that it’s a job-killer that will cost lots of Democrats their jobs in the Senate next year.

Here’s another paranoid ranting from the Franken campaign:

In his recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove called me out personally and pointed to Minnesota as a possible pickup for Republicans this fall.

Karl Rove’s the puppet master of a few of those Citizens United-spawned special interest groups. In the 2012 elections, his Crossroads groups spent more than $176 million — mostly attacking candidates.

So you might understand why this shout out isn’t really a good thing in an election year.

If Karl Rove has Minnesota on his radar, we don’t have time to waste. We’ve got to be geared up and ready to fight back. This month, we need to hit $200,000 to fuel our grassroots efforts. Can you contribute $5?

It’s not like Karl Rove would be praising me for my work for Minnesota — protecting net neutrality, reversing the effects of Citizens United, fighting for Minnesota families.

I don’t work for the Karl Rove, special interest agenda. They’d rather see someone in this seat that’s more friendly to them. So they will attack and smear, lie and spend, to get one of their friends to replace me.

And that’s why I have you — my fantastic grassroots supporters — fighting back to make sure that strategy doesn’t work.

Help us hit our $200,000 goal this month. Be one of the first to give $5 now.

Thank you for your support.


P.S.: We need to show Karl Rove and all of the special interests that if you target Minnesota, you have to face us. Give $5 or more right now toward our $200,000 February goal.

This part was especially hilarious:

It’s not like Karl Rove would be praising me for my work for Minnesota, protecting net neutrality, reversing the effects of Citizens United, fighting for Minnesota families.

How many Minnesotans will head into the voting booth next November and exclaim ‘I’m voting for Al Franken because he protected net neutrality’? How many people will say ‘I’m voting for Franken because he’s for reversing the effects of Citizens United’?

Here’s another line worth laughing at:

I don’t work for the Karl Rove special interest agenda. They’d rather see someone in this seat that’s more friendly to them. So they will attack and smear, lie and spend, to get one of their friends to replace me.

I can’t deny that Franken doesn’t work for Karl Rove. I can’t deny that Franken works for the DFL’s anti-jobs special interests either. Notice how Franken hasn’t said a word about the Keystone XL Pipeline project. He hasn’t said a thing about the proposed PolyMet precious metals mining project in northeastern Minnesota either.

That’s because Sen. Franken is doing everything possible to say he’s a friend of union rank-and-file (he isn’t) without alienating the hardline environmentalists. He’s trying to maintain his support amongst these groups that hate each other. If Sen. Franken truly cared about the union rank-and-file, he’d fight to make PolyMet a reality. He isn’t doing that.

People know that I’m Karl Rove’s biggest fan. However, if given the choice between trusting Rove or Franken, that isn’t a difficult choice. Franken hasn’t done a thing to strengthen Minnesota’s economy. Franken’s focus has been on silencing President Obama’s opposition by having the IRS target conservative organizations that applied for tax exempt status. That’s what he meant when he said he’d worked on reversing the effects of Citizens United:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of seven Senate Democrats urged the Internal Revenue Service on Monday to impose a strict cap on the amount of political spending by tax-exempt, nonprofit groups.

The senators said the lack of clarity in the IRS rules has allowed political groups to improperly claim 501(c)4 status and may even be allowing donors to these groups to wrongly claim tax deductions for their contributions. The senators promised legislation if the IRS failed to act to fix these problems.

“We urge the IRS to take these steps immediately to prevent abuse of the tax code by political groups focused on federal election activities. But if the IRS is unable to issue administrative guidance in this area then we plan to introduce legislation to accomplish these important changes,” the senators wrote.

The letter was signed by Senators Charles E. Schumer, Michael Bennet, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen and Al Franken. It follows an earlier letter, sent to the IRS by the same of group of senators last month, that also urged the IRS to better enforce rules pertaining to 501(c)4 organizations.

Sen. Franken teamed with Chuck Schumer, Michael Bennet, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Tom Udall and Jeanne Shaheen in encouraging the IRS to intimidate the Democrats’ opponents.

There’s little question that the IRS targeted TEA Party activists and other conservative organizations. There’s no question that these senators intended conservative organization to be singled out for additional scrutiny.

Sen. Schumer is one of the nastiest partisans to ever serve in DC. He certainly isn’t calling for the targeting of hardline progressive organizations. That means Sen. Franken willfully signed onto silencing political speech he didn’t like.

Rather than supporting Sen. Franken, thoughtful Democrats who still believe in the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights should help boot him from office. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights is more important than electing a partisan for the long-term health of this great nation.

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Allahpundit’s post about the Democrats’ latest talking point has got me thinking. First, here’s what Allahpundit wrote about in his post:

“I’m the first one to acknowledge that the relations between myself and the Republican Congress have not been good over the last several months, but it’s not for lack of effort,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos earlier this month…

“I’m sure the president would like it to be creating jobs more quickly. And if the members of the do-nothing Republican Congress would actually put a couple of oars in the water and help us, [we could] do these things like [Mississippi] Gov. [Haley] Barbour mentioned that make so much sense,” Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” earlier this month…

Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said, “Democrats are trying to give ownership of Congress to Republicans because the institution is dysfunctional and not addressing the jobs problem, and this is a way to tie blame to the GOP.”…

I could write a detailed post exposing the Democrats’ dishonesty. In fact, I might do that next week. Still, I think the best way to illustrate the Democrats’ dishonesty is by illustrating the Democrats’ dishonesty in cartoons and animated videos.

Let’s face it. We’re a visual society. We learn faster through visuals than through manuals.

Here’s my challenge to the Army of Davids out there: Hit me with your best videos and cartoons. Post them in the comments section for this post. Post them on your website, then send a link to your entry. Get creative. Be irreverant. Most importantly, highlight the fact that Democrats don’t have ideas, solutions or integrity. Make the most compelling case possible.

The upshot of this project is simple: If this Army of Davids does what they’re capable of, the reward will be alot fewer Democrats in the Senate in 2013.

Have at it. Let’s have some fun at the Democrats’ expense with this.

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Pandering to a Free Press forum, Nancy Pelosi said that the just-passed House resolution on net neutrality isn’t going anywhere in the Senate:

“No one should be guarding the gate on the Internet,” Pelosi said. She said despite the House vote, the resolution isn’t likely to gain support in the Senate. “I don’t think this bill is going anyplace,” Pelosi predicted.

In Ms. Pelosi’s world, life isn’t right if the government isn’t regulating something. The internet isn’t broken. There are more ways to access the internet now through a myriad of platforms that net neutrality regulations are a joke.

Critics of the regulations say they unnecessarily interfere in the private market. Republicans who sponsored the House legislation argued that the FCC overstepped its authority to enact rules that aren’t needed.

Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps, who voted to enact the rules in December but advocated for more stringent measures, said net neutrality is one of many communications principles that must be protected.

Mr. Copps’ arrogance is exposed by the fact that the DC Circuit ruled the FCC’s powergrab unconstitutional:

The case before the DC circuit stemmed a citation issued by the FCC against Comcast in 2008 for interfering with or blocking its subscribers’ use of peer-to-peer networking applications. Those applications, such as BitTorrent, allow users to share large files directly with one another but consume significant amounts of bandwidth.

A unanimous three-judge DC Circuit panel ruled the FCC exceeded its authority when it issued the citation, ruling that Congress hadn’t given the FCC the power to regulate an Internet service provider’s network-management practices.

“The commission has failed to tie its assertion of ancillary authority over Comcast’s Internet service to any statutorily mandated responsibility,” the court said in a 36-page opinion.

The FCC’s arrogance isn’t significantly different than the arrogance shown by the Florida Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore. In the initial ruling, SCOTUS ruled that the Florida Supreme Court changed the rules of the game after the fact. Further, they ruled that they ignored Florida state election law. That’s why they returned it to the Florida Supreme Court to apply existing law.

In this instance, the DC Circuit ruled that the FCC attempted to expand their authority without getting legislation approving that expansion. Without legislation expanding the FCC’s authority, FCC-imposed net neutrality is just as forbidden now as it was then.

Ms. Pelosi and the FCC can whine all they want but the ruling this time will remain the same.

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This administration is perhaps the most control-freakish administration since the Nixon administration. Thanks to Jonathan Gurvitz’s illuminating column, we can see the FCC’s naked attempt to control the internet:

So what’s wrong with the Internet? According to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, “It may be dying because entrenched interests are positioning themselves to control the Internet’s choke points.” That was Copps’ prediction in 2003, one year before Facebook was launched, two years before some former employees of PayPal, another Internet success story, started YouTube, and three years before Amazon began offering cloud computing services.

If the last decade is an indication of what Internet necrosis and choke points look like, then by all means, let’s have more of them. Yet in his statement concurring with the decision to regulate the Internet, Copps, who is still an FCC commissioner, writes unashamedly that his 2003 warning was issued “somewhat dramatically perhaps, but not inaccurately.”

That’s chutzpah personified. Copps is embarrassingly wrong but he insists that his 2003 warning wasn’t inaccurate. How can he say that with a straight face? From a different perspective, let’s consider the possibility that an honest person couldn’t make that type of statement.

This afternoon, I used Twitter, which didn’t exist when Copps made his statement, to ask Jeff Jarvis, one of the smarter people on the internet, what he thought of net neutrality. Here’s Jeff’s reply:

Cheap smartphones make the FCC’s net unneutrality all the more offensive: The future is unprotected.

He followed that tweet up with this tweet:

Fortune: 500m smartphones sold in 2011; will eclipse PCs as way most get on internet:

I think we’re at that point where we can emphatically state that net neutrality is utterly unnecessary. Further, we can state that the FCC’s rulemaking isn’t about diversifying the internet. It’s about this administration attempting to control the internet. This question lays it out perfectly:

Net neutrality is anything but neutral. It takes the operation of the Internet away from the heterogeneous and diversified interests of the private sector that has created it and concentrates it in the hands of an unelected and unaccountable board of political appointees atop a federal bureaucracy. Does that sound like a recipe for continued innovation?

The best way to crush innovation is to put it in the hands of political appointees. When’s the last time the government thought of the next Fedex, the next Microsoft? Try NEVER.

This administration is littered with people who want to control communications in general and the internet in specific. Fortunately, the courts and this Republican House will put the kibosh on their attempts.

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It’s beyond scary when you start connecting the Obama administration’s censorship dots. Thanks to John Fund’s column, the Obama administration’s dots can be connected. Here’s the first dot in the puzzle:

There’s little evidence the public is demanding these rules, which purport to stop the non-problem of phone and cable companies blocking access to websites and interfering with Internet traffic. Over 300 House and Senate members have signed a letter opposing FCC Internet regulation, and there will undoubtedly be even less support in the next Congress.

Yet President Obama, long an ardent backer of net neutrality, is ignoring both Congress and adverse court rulings, especially by a federal appeals court in April that the agency doesn’t have the power to enforce net neutrality. He is seeking to impose his will on the Internet through the executive branch. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a former law school friend of Mr. Obama, has worked closely with the White House on the issue. Official visitor logs show he’s had at least 11 personal meetings with the president.

In other words, Genachowski and Obama have worked closely for months on end and in the past. This censorship vision didn’t start recently. They’ve thought about this for ages. Now let’s connect another dot with that dot:

The net neutrality vision for government regulation of the Internet began with the work of Robert McChesney, a University of Illinois communications professor who founded the liberal lobby Free Press in 2002. Mr. McChesney’s agenda? “At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies,” he told the website SocialistProject in 2009. “But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

The net neutrality movement started with a capitalist-hating socialist friend of President Obama. His radical opinions are expressed here:

A year earlier, Mr. McChesney wrote in the Marxist journal Monthly Review that “any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.” Mr. McChesney told me in an interview that some of his comments have been “taken out of context.” He acknowledged that he is a socialist and said he was “hesitant to say I’m not a Marxist.”

This is what the Obama administration’s central planning plan looks like. They’ve been exposed as the gang who wanted to manipulate/control everything. Health care. Banks. Media. Financial institutions. Student loans. Car manufacturers.

They’re the bunch that can’t control enough things. What’s the Bond movie title? The world is not enough?

Sadly, that fits.

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When Julius Genachowski’s FCC board voted to regulate the internet, it did so without regard for a federal court’s ruling that the FCC didn’t have the authority to regulate the internet. Here’s what the AP is reporting on the FCC’s attempted powergrab:

A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations and U.S. broadband expansion plans into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks. That was a big victory for Comcast Corp., the nation’s largest cable company, which had challenged the FCC’s authority to impose such “network neutrality” obligations on broadband providers.

The unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel marks a serious setback for the FCC, which is trying to adopt official net neutrality regulations. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, argues such rules are needed to prevent phone and cable companies from using their control over Internet access to favor some kinds of online content and services over others.

The D.C. Circuit isn’t just another appellate court. It’s the second highest court in the land behind SCOTUS. Having the D.C. Circuit rule against him previously obviously didn’t mean a thing to Mr. Genachowski. He pushed ahead with today’s vote anyway as if he hadn’t been chastised by the D.C. Circuit previously.

That’s the epitome of arrogance, which should earn Mr. Genachowski a stiff tonguelashing from the D.C. Circuit. I’m certain that they won’t appreciate Mr. Genachowski’s ignoring their unanimous ruling this past April telling him the FCC’s authority didn’t extend as far as he’d hoped it would.

The decision also has serious implications for the massive national broadband plan released by the FCC last month. The FCC needs clear authority to regulate broadband in order to push ahead with some its key recommendations, including a proposal to expand broadband by tapping the federal fund that subsidizes telephone service in poor and rural communities.

In a statement, the FCC said it remains “firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans” and “will rest these policies…on a solid legal foundation.”

This isn’t about free internet. It’s about whether the government regulates the internet or whether the private sector, through vigorous competition, regulates the internet. People don’t trust the government, especially this administration, to properly regulate the internet.

It isn’t that they trust the private sector, it’s that they trust them more than they trust this administration.


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As much as I’d like to think that this ruling signals the death of net neutrality, I’m still skeptical. Here’s the news:

The Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to slap Net neutrality regulations on Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

A three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out the FCC’s August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent transfers and had voluntarily ended them earlier that year.

Because the FCC “has failed to tie its assertion” of regulatory authority to any actual law enacted by Congress, the agency does not have the authority to regulate an Internet provider’s network management practices, wrote Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Tuesday’s decision could doom one of the signature initiatives of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat. Last October, Genachowski announced plans to begin drafting a formal set of Net neutrality rules–even though Congress has not given the agency permission to begin. That push is opposed by Verizon and other broadband providers.

If I’ve learned anything about the Obama administration, it’s that they won’t let a court ruling stifle their enthusiasm for shutting down free speech. I cite President Obama’s lecturing SCOTUS during his SOTU. Much like Rep. Phil Hare, President Obama, Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi don’t care what the Constitution says or how the SCOTUS rules. If the Constitution or SCOTUS get in their way, they’ll simply attempt to do what they want through another channel. That’s why winning big this election and the 2012 elections are so important.

We can’t afford to have an administration in office that’s willing to ruthlessly push people and the Constitution aside if they want something.

I’d further add that Neil Steven’s post makes a most salient point:

Judge David Tatel, Clinton appointed successor of now-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, wrote for the court that since even the FCC acknowledged it had no “express statutory authority” to go after Comcast for regulating use of Bittorrent on its network, the Commission had to show that the regulation was “reasonably ancillary” to the authority it does have. The FCC did not, and so the FCC’s order to Comcast has been thrown out.

I’m no lawyer, but having lost decisively at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals seems to set a dangerous precedent for the FCC’s future ability to regulate ISPs. That is why the FCC has a plan: reclassify (or deem) ISPs to be something different under the law (make them a Title II service under the Communications Act, which former Chairman Michael Powell says they never, ever have been), and then reassert (or pass) this authority regardless of what the court said.

Neil’s right. Losing unanimously indicates that SCOTUS won’t likely overturn the DC Circuit’s ruling. That the judge that wrote the ruling is a Clinton-appointed judge is telling, too. While I won’t be so bold as to predict a unanimous verdict if it reaches the Supreme Court, I’m willing to say that it isn’t likely that we’ll see a 5-4 ruling either.

Nonetheless, Neil is right in saying that we need to stay ever-vigilant in this fight against the Party of Censorship. After all, they’ve made it abundantly clear that they intend to limit speech via whatever method works.

The FCC’s attempt to regulate the internet indicates just how radical this administration is.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

According to Max Baucus’ statement on Sen. Daschle’s confirmation to be the next HHS Secretary, it’s apparent that keeping corruption out of government takes a back seat to advancing his agenda. Here’s a portion of Sen. Baucus’ statement:

“The ability to advance meaningful health reform is my top priority in confirming a Secretary of Health and Human Services, and I remain convinced that Senator Daschle would be an invaluable and expert partner in this effort,” said the Montana senator in a statement. “I am eager to move forward together.”

What’s a little corruption in government, especially when the corrupt politician is a close friend? It’s apparent that Democrats don’t care about corruption. That’s what their actions tell us. If you don’t believe me, look at all the corruption in this administration and amongst Pelosi’s chief lieutenants

It’s especially insulting that they think that someone from within their inside-the-Beltway club is the only person in the world who can fix our problems. They’re thinking that we’re a bunch of simpletons who can’t fix anything if our life depended on it but we’re the soldiers that comprise an Army of Davids.

Sen. Baucus stating that Sen. Daschle is the key to “meaningful health reform” is proof that Washington hasn’t noticed that the private sector started working on months ago. During last fall’s candidate debates for the Minnesota legislature, Josh Behling talked frequently and forcefully about the changes he helped institute in Century Granite’s benefit packages. Josh especially touted HSAs, which would go a long ways in turning people into health care shoppers instead of health care consumers.

Rep. Steve Gottwalt talked extensively about other private sector-initiated reforms, especially in the context that companies had a financial interest in reforming health care, meaning that the status quo is inefficient and costly. Given companies’ incentive to drag help insurance into the 21st century, doesn’t anyone think that the best thing that government can do to speed health insurance reform would be to eliminate the federal and state mandates on insurers while helping promote competition?

Here in Minnesota, there are three health insurers: Blue Cross, Health Partners and United Health. They’re the only insurers licensed to sell insurance in the state. What’s the likelihood that Sen. Daschle will break their monopolistic hold in Minnesota, especially when one of the companies was run by the wife of a prominent Democratic legislator? Think in terms of no chance or slimmer.

Different parts of government can assist in initially putting data bases together that rate the clinics and hospitals in terms of cost for various procedures or which clinics and hospitals provide the highest quality in terms of the various surgeries or treatments and such.

Where having a bureaucrat like Sen. Daschle would cost us in efficiency is his thinking inside the box and within the context of him being a lifetime bureaucrat. Bureaucrats have a control fetish. If something doesn’t fit within their flowcharts, the typical bureaucrat simply rejects the idea. They simply can’t resist trying to control it.

In other words, Daschle represents the worst of all worlds. He’s corrupt and he’s a control freak. Personally, I’d rather entrust an Army of Davids to figure out the best solutions that increase efficiencies while giving working families a variety of appealing options.

That’s why Sen. Daschle isn’t the great savior his Democratic colleagues are making him out to being. He’s just another bureaucrat who’s part of the club. for more on that, check out John Hinderaker’s post on Sen. Daschle:

Tom Daschle is a man of little ability who, as far as history records, has never had a creative or original idea about any public policy issue. Nevertheless, through a combination of assiduous delivery of pork to his constituents, slavish devotion to the Democratic Party and ethical flexibility, he rose almost to the top of the heap in Washington, DC. In my view, Daschle has been a borderline crook through most if not all of his Senate career. But that didn’t stop the Democrats from electing him their leader in the Senate, nor did it deter a highly lucrative career after John Thune defeated him in 2004.

Barack Obama’s nomination of Daschle to head the Department of Health and Human Services has brought to light one aspect of the seamy underside of life in Washington. After his defeat, Daschle went to work for Alston & Bird, a law firm that also does lobbying. Daschle isn’t a lawyer, so he can only have been working on the lobbying side of the shop, yet he has never registered as a lobbyist. Still, his connections apparently were valuable enough that Alston & Bird paid him $2.1 over the past two years.

In other words, he’s highly paid because he’s influential, not because he’s a particularly astute policy person. Put differently, he’s ethically challenged and well connected.

That alone is justification for rejecting him.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

This post provides a great explanation why the GOP should focus on shoring up the base first. Here’s the part I agree most with:

5) It’s conservatives, not moderates, who contribute the money, work on GOP campaigns, and are generally going to vote Republican, if they vote at all.

Although it’s fine to reach out to moderates, if you go too far and alienate the conservative base, it will hurt your fundraising, leave you without enough campaign volunteers, and may depress turnout amongst your most loyal supporters.

Our ‘alphabets’ fundraising has stunk the last 2 election cycles. That’s because the activists have refused to support candidates that would be as comfortable in the Democratic Party as they’d be in the GOP. The Democrats hire their GOTV machine. The GOP doesn’t. That’s why we need enthusiastic activists. The perfect example of this is in Minnesota’s 2nd District.

John Kline has impeccable conservative credentials. As a result, Rep. Kline had a big base of volunteers this campaign season:

John Kline and his supporters have turned out in force, in numbers ranging the low 30’s to over 70 per parade, and expect to continue such turnouts through the fall. Sarvi has missed a number of parades, and the number of his supporters has been much smaller when he has shown up.

John Kline gives CD-2 activists reason to volunteer. The above paragraph is proof that people will volunteer if our politicians are steadfast, principled conservatives.

John’s on the right track but he isn’t the only person on the right track. Erick Erickson of Redstate, Patrick Ruffini of the Next Right and others have started a project called Rebuild the Party. Here’s a little teaser of what they’ve come up with:

The time is now to set in motion the changes needed to rebuild our party from the grassroots up, modernize the way we run campaigns, and attract different, energetic, and younger candidates at all levels.

We must be conservative in philosophy but bold in our approach. We don’t need a slight tweak here or there. We need transformation. We can’t keep fighting a 21st century war with 20th century weapons.

Patrick Ruffini is one of the brightest political minds in the conservative movement. Having spoken with Erick Erickson from time to time, I can vouch for Erick’s vision for the conservative movement and for his impeccable conservative credentials. I’ll enthusiastically fight this fight with Erick and Patrick. I encourage every conservative to join in this effort.

What’s needed now is principled leadership. There isn’t a minute to waste if we we want to stay relevant. It’s imperative that we commit to this project. Liberalism can’t defeat principled, well-enunciated conservatism. It’s just that simple. On October 27, 1964, Ronald Wilson Reagan delivered his famous “Time for Choosing” speech. Forty-four years later, it’s still a time for choosing. It’s also a time for action.

Let’s get started.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative